Lifestyle Change is the Key!

by Sasha
(Toronto)

Hi Ladies :)

I was diagnosed with PCOS at 20. I have had my period since I was 10 years old, and it has always been irregular. Unfortunately, my family doctor always told me that this was normal, even though I could always sense that something was wrong.

A transvaginal ultrasound confirmed that I had PCOS and at that point, the specialist I was referred to put me on the Birth Control Pill. I proceeded to use this method of "treatment" for the next six years.

At 26, I found myself having sporadic breakouts of cystic acne, struggling with hair growth, hair loss and painful periods. It was only until I gained 23 pounds in a matter of three months that I realized that something was completely wrong. It was at this moment that I decided to take control of my health.

I had never had issues with my weight. I had always been able to eat anything, in any quantity, with seemingly no consequences to my health or my waistline.

Furthermore, I trusted my specialist to prescribe treatments that would have maximum benefits with minimum risks. I now realize that the birth control pill is simply a mask for this disorder; it does nothing to tackle the root issues of the disorder.

I spent months researching alternative therapies for PCOS. All of my efforts led to one simple truth; there can be no success in tackling this disorder without implementing lifestyle changes.

The fact is that women who struggle with this disorder will have to fight daily for the rest their lives.

It was incredibly frustrating and discouraging to realize that I would have to make great changes to my diet, even though I was already eating much healthier than anyone else I knew. Unfortunately, a healthy diet for the average person differs from what is required for a woman with PCOS.

I found this website and I ordered the book "The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility". This was in October of 2008. It was the best decision I ever made.

I changed my diet, stepped up my workouts and the weight started to come off.

By April of 2009 I had lost the 23 pounds and I was ready to make another change. I stopped taking the pills and I slowly replaced them with supplements. As of February 2010, I take a multivitamin, fish oil, biotin, vitex and NAC.

It has been one year since I came off of the pill and I can honestly say that I have never felt better.

I have had "proper" periods in July, October, February and April. There has been spotting in between, and obviously a bunch of missed cycles, but my last two periods were only two months apart.

My victories have been hard-fought, but exceptionally sweet. My facial acne is under control. I had a rough patch with my back and chest, but I found a product (sulfacet) which has worked wonders for me. I am proud to report that this issue is now under control. I have been able to maintain my weight and I continue to exercise regularly and eat well.

If there is one message that I hope to convey to other women with this disorder, it is that we each have to be our own advocate.

There are ways to target and treat the root issues associated with this disorder, but it takes a great amount of discipline, motivation and will power.

I truly believe that any woman is capable of managing this disease without the use of Birth Control Pills.

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes and everything you do must be repeated on a daily basis for the rest of your life.

It's the only way, but it really does work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Editor's comments: Congratulations, Sasha, on getting your life back! You are testament to the fact that proper diet and other good lifestyle practices will create a much healthier person with diminished symptoms of PCOS.

The publication Sasha was referring to is The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility, which is available as an e-book.

Some of the supplements Sasha referred to can be obtained The publication Sasha was referring to is at this online store.

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my story- I'm now a Mom!
by: Meaghan

Thank you so much for sharing your story Sasha! I am Meaghan (also from Toronto :) and my life changed when I came across this website and began seeing a local ND in Toronto. I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20's and was basically told "you have PCOS, you have to take the birth control pill, and you will probably have a hard time getting pregnant." I was given absolutely no treatment advice besides the pill.

Through changing my diet, I was able to go off of the pill and lose approximately 30 pounds. I went from no periods, to irregular periods, to periods without necessarily ovulating, to ovulating every month and knowing when my period would come within a day. And here's the really exciting part: when I decided to get pregnant it happened immediately! I am now the mom to a healthy 10 month old boy! It IS possible, but as Sasha says in her story, it takes daily work. I feel so much better now though that it is more than worth it. The diet changes that made the biggest difference for me were giving up gluten and dairy.

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